I baked Brötchen everyday for a week and here’s what happened

On her Chef’s Table episode, legendary chef Nancy Silverton said, one must be obsessed with bread to be a baker. I thought that was a bit much, but what did I know? I did not bake bread then. Fast forward a few years and here I am baking Brötchen everyday, trying to learn the nuances of bread and keeping my mind open to what water, flour, salt, and yeast have to teach me.

The first thing I made with my new Kitchen Aid are Brötchen, small rolls typically eaten for breakfast, or anytime really, in Germany. On Day 1, I used this recipe and the result were crispy, soft, but dense Brötchen that could sustain the German army.

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In Gelnhausen, on a lovely fall day

Enchanting, colorful, and historic, medieval towns are my current obsession. I cannot resist their charm. Lucky we are surrounded! Markus and I have been to several since I arrived in Germany and it is about time I talk about one, no?

This is from Gelnhausen, a quaint town near Frankfurt founded by Emperor Barbarossa in 1170. The entrance is a steep walk as it sits on the side of a hill – very traditional. Its main attraction is the Marienkirche that you can see towering on the background in our picture above. It could be Wednesday Adam’s Castle if she was a Disney princess. I totally love it.

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Birthday overseas, lots of food, and a big surprise

By the river Main on my birthday

We mainly cook our meals at home because of our diet preferences, but when I saw The Red Lion in the old town near our flat, I thought I had to experience dining there. A birthday is a good excuse, too, no?

Built in 1727, this is the oldest restaurant here, standing neatly in its corner after two World Wars and still serving guests amid a pandemic. They had plenty of mushroom and potato dishes, with continent-size portions.

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I am thinking about meat

Last weekend, Markus and I visited the Hessenpark, a magical open-air museum that provides a glimpse into traditional village life in Hesse. It was like a Harry Potter world, if only it was set in rural Germany.

Almost 100 Fachwerkhäuser on display, plus furniture, tools, shops, crafts, and all the toys imaginable to impress and educate a new Asian in town. I had a lot of fun, even if it rained most of the time.

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Currently, I’m obsessed with

After two months here in Germany, I can safely claim that I am more relaxed and am finally able to flow with the rhythms of life. My inner world can still improve by a lot, but it is okay, currently.

Today, I would like to share a short list of some things that bring me joy and help me get out of my head each day:

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Getting vaccinated… again

Recovery in progress

Last week, I had my first jab of Biontech, which is great, except I have been fully vaccinated with Sinovac before leaving The Philippines. But as the politics of Covid-19 vaccines goes, I am legally unvaccinated here, since Germany, like most European countries, does not recognize the China-made vaccine.

Some physicians and majority of the population have not even heard of Sinovac and have no idea what it is! Very interesting since this is the most available and widely used vaccine in my side of the world.

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12 things about my new life in Germany, so far

The day I flew to Germany, there was a storm, flooding, and two earthquakes from where I lived in The Philippines. One could say the universe tried really hard to stop me, or just recognize nature being nature in crisis, alternatively.

I have been staying in Germany a month now, and slowly, I can feel my mind and body decompressing. About damn time.

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You can take the Asian out of Asia but you cannot take Asia out of the Asian

I am recovering from jetlag, dear friends, and yes, I crossed continents in this pandemic time. Not easy. I will tell you more in a separate post. Today, I just want to show signs of life lest you think I have disappeared forever into the void of the internet!

We are in Germany. Far from the tiny house, far from the beach, far from our plants, far from the sun and humidity. It is summertime here to the lovely tune of 15 C. I know I do not need to tell you I brought the wrong clothes.

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Fruits, vegetables, and a slice of the family farm

It has been gray and wet the past days, just like a nice summer day in London. A passing storm intensifies the monsoon and the sun has not appeared for awhile. The plants at our family farm do not seem to mind. At least, the ones that were not bowled over by the winds.

The corn seems to be doing well despite some damaged patches . I imagine there will be a harvest in a couple of months. It is nice to see this crop thrive here. We tried to grow them last year on the tiny house plot but the rain decimated them all.

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Practical yoga lessons that go beyond the mat

In October, Markus and I would be yoga teachers for three years. Isn’t that cool? Since the pandemic started, there have been no yoga retreats for us but we cultivate the practice at home and continue to learn more about life through it. Today, I thought I would share a few useful lessons on the mat that easily translate to more wellness off the mat.

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